Build your site around its user—consider their expectations, needs, feelings; build the site so that it’s useful, valuable and meaningful for the end user.
Digital spiders crawl the world wide web, archiving and collecting data. Servers store and call up data; acting as air traffic controllers funneling information here and there, directing it to its final destination. An Internet property—a website, a social media profile, an ad—is just a set of code written in languages computers understand. The Internet is composed of robots, programs and technology, but it was built by humans, for humans.
With the possible exception of some of the programmers in our building, most of us don’t think like computers. Most of us also have little comprehension about the complicated nature of web design and development. Some of those creating properties and generating content for the web think it’s enough to just cram whatever information they think is relevant and place it haphazardly around the site with the thought being that if someone wants it bad enough, they’ll find it.
The era of website-in-a-box is over—or, at least, it should be if you want your brand to matter. And while canned solutions are no longer viable (and really, were they ever?), an ill-thought-out custom one that neglects the human element is just as poor.
Website user experience is equal parts art and science. A site must be built to suit your target audience’s needs—and if you don’t know your target audience, start there. The next step is to consider exactly how they interact with your site.
When it’s time to plan the design, functionality, interface…start with the human element. Bend the robots and the technology around that.